Lions Bucs Spread Line and Predictions for NFL Week 15

Say what you want about the Bucs not being a true playoff contender, but they find a way to beat every lesser team they face, and Josh Freeman usually does it in ubiquitous fashion. Ndamukong Suh vs. LeGarrette Blount in a match up of two of the league’s elite rookies. Could the Lions finally win a road game for the first time in nearly three years? Could the Bucs jump up in the playoff picture if the Bears/Packers/Giants slip? The (3-10) Detroit Lions travel down south to clash with the resurgent (8-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what is a crucial game for the Bucs, kickoff slated for 1 PM EST.

The Lions have lost 11 or more games in seven of the last 10 years, including an 0-16 campaign in 2008. They currently sit at 3-10, coming off a 7-3 win over the Green Bay Packers. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s status for Sunday is still uncertain, as he is still nursing a shoulder injury, while backup Shaun Hill is out with a bad thumb. If Stafford cannot go, Drew Stanton would likely get the start. Rookie DT Ndamukong Suh is already emerging as a solid NFL pass rusher, he needs to get pressure on Josh Freeman to disrupt the Buccaneers’ passing game. The Lions are ranked 13th against the pass, but Freeman protects the ball well, having thrown six interceptions and lost two fumbles through 13 games. If Suh can force a fumble or errant pass and the Lions can win the turnover battle, they could find themselves right in the thick of this one at the end. While the record says one thing about the Lions, the game tapes say quite another. The Bucs have watched them play teams like the Bears, Eagles, Jets and Giants to the wire. The tape shows the Lions beating Green Bay last week. Beyond the routine respect it’s proper to give opponents, there’s sound football logic behind the wariness in the Bucs’ approach. Detroit’s pass rush with tackles Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams is potentially disruptive and, as we know, injuries have put the Bucs in scramble mode on the offensive line. Suh already has eight sacks and is likely to become the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year. Depending on where Suh lines up, the Bucs might be countering with backup center Jeremy Zuttah or rookie guards Ted Larsen or Derek Hardman.

In a season with practically no expectations, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are assured something the Detroit Lions have tried to do for a decade: a .500 finish. They’ll try to guarantee a winning record with a win over the Lions Sunday. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to get into the playoffs they are eventually going to have to beat a team with a winning record. It won’t be this week, or the week after. The Bucs host Detroit (3-10) then Seattle (6-7). They close the season with a game at New Orleans (10-3). That’s big news. Considering the Saints’ schedule, the Bucs are very much alive for the postseason. New Orleans still has games remaining at Baltimore and Atlanta. But how much can the Bucs’ put up with? Their team is riddled with injuries, which last week included losing rookie defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who was just starting to come into his own. The defense is a shambles with five starters gone and it is time for the offense to rev back up. Quarterback Josh Freeman has slipped in his production, but he can get hot with a trio of top receivers, which includes Mike Williams, who leads all rookie receivers with 784 yards. The Buccaneers got an early Christmas present from the Washington Redskins in the form of a botched snap after a Santana Moss touchdown with nine seconds left brought them within one and seemingly headed for overtime. The Buccaneers’ 27th-ranked run defense allowed 172 yards to Ryan Torain, but they kept him out of the end zone and stood tall in the red zone for most of the game. The 17-16 win put the Buccaneers at 8-5, tied with the Packers one game out of the final Wild Card spot, occupied by the New York Giants.The Buccaneers are 5-0 in games decided by three points or less and have beaten the Lions in five of their last six meetings. However, they’re 3-3 at home on the year.

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Lions vs Buccaneers Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Detroit Lions +4.5
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4.5

Game Total:

Over (-110)
43.5
Under (-110)

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Lions vs Buccaneers Prediction for Week 15:

Game Total Prediction (TOP PLAY) – Through a couple solid drafts the Lions have come to build a legitimate power defensively. DT Ndamukong Suh is the real deal and he will be around this league for along time. The Lions were able to hold one of the more powerful offenses in the league in the Green Bay Packers to 3 points last week and they will look to play though the final three games hard. The Bucs have long been known for their tenacious and punishing brand of football, this years squad are surrendering an average of just 17.5 points per contest. The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Tampa Bay’s last 20 games and has gone UNDER in 6 of Tampa Bay’s last 9 games at home. The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit’s last 6 games when playing Tampa Bay. Take a look at the UNDER in Tampa this Sunday.

Top Play Prediction = UNDER 43.5 Total Points

Spread Prediction – The Lions are no longer a pushover and they are playing most of their opponents this year very tough. Detroit is 8-2 ATS against conference opponents this season and will be looking to double up on their win total from last season. For all of the hype the Bucs have received this season they are not so destructive on home soil, Tampa Bay is 2-10 ATS in home games over the last 2 seasons. Another factor swaying this game in the Lions favor is the fact that the Motown men have had the Bucs number for some time now, Tampa Bay is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Detroit. We will consider the Lions keeping this one close. Cheers!

Prediction = Lions +4.5

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